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Meal Prepping 101

December 28, 2016

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Paleo & Whole 30 Team Blogger, Strong Momma Sara

One of the most important things on your road to eating healthy is meal prepping. At max, you will be cooking for about 2-3 hours one day a week and then you can be set for 5 straight days for breakfasts, lunches and vegetables for dinner. We started doing big-time meal prep about three years ago. It was prompted because I had entered a body transformation contest for BodyBuilding.com and to be honest… who feels like making lunch the night before after working a full day and being a parent? No one does. We started with making huge salads for both of us on Sunday’s and while they were delicious at one point, they felt like they took forever to put together. Lettuce, carrots, peppers, cucumbers, edamame’s etc… It was non-stop cutting and dicing. We did this for a while and then at some point we got sick of the prep involved — we also felt like there wasn’t a great variety to what we could do with just plain salads.

Foodstirs, IncFast forward to when I switched to Paleo in April 2015, we both took a hard look at our foods and snacks and decided to make a change. We decided to work with food we could make in larger batches instead of feeling like we were slicing and dicing for hours on end. Like boiling chicken to shred – you can make 3 lbs at once…easy. I also work with a lot of containers to keep it easy and organized. So when you open your fridge you can just pull exactly what you want.

So what do you need? Lots and lots of meal prep containers. 


– Containers for 1 cup needs (Pactiv Newspring Delitainer Polypropylene Premium Round Food Container Clear, 8 oz. 240/Case)
– Containers for eggs (I crack mine at work, you can opt to do this ahead of time)
– Containers for lunch meals  (Rubbermaid 40-Piece Easy Find Lid Food Storage Set)

Plan of Attack 
The week before:

Be sure to have your appropriate containers
 Find recipes for dinner
– Create grocery list to go food shopping
– If you order your food, I like to get mine delivered on Friday

Friday night or Saturday:
– Grocery shop
– Get rest of groceries delivered
– Keep chicken in fridge for easy cooking access on Sunday

Breakfast

– 2 Hard-boiled Eggs
– 1 cup peppers
– 1 cup spinach

Lunch

– Chicken Salad
   – 6 oz chicken
   – Peppers
   – Carrots
   – Lettuce
   – Chopped Walnuts
   – Half avocado 
– Homemade Mayo
   – 2 egg yolks
   – 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
   – 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
   – 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
   – Sea salt to taste
   – 1/4 cup melted butter in a glass measuring cup
   – 3/4 cup nut or olive oil (I use Avocado oil)

Snack

– 1 slice paleo bacon
– Half cup cherry tomatoes
– 1 oz Brazil nuts

Dinner prep for the week (approximately)

– 6 peppers
– 5 carrots 

Shopping List:

– 6 lbs chicken
– 2 lbs ground turkey (for dinner, if needed)
– 1 pack celery 
– 12 peppers (color choice is yours)
– 1 pack carrots 
– 1 bag lettuce 
– 1 bag Spinach
– Container of Brazil nuts 
– 20 eggs 
– Chicken broth 
– Bag of walnuts 

Example of dinner recipes for the full week (feel free to look these up on Pinterest):
– Monday: Cranberry balsamic chicken
– Tuesday: Meatballs & zoodles
– Wednesday: Sweet & spicy chicken
– Thursday: Baked bell peppers tacos
– Friday: BLT Chicken Bake


Sure you can look at our list and what takes about 3 hours in total on a Sunday and think it’s crazy, but you can’t argue with the ease and results of a healthy lifestyle.  It starts with one step at a time. When we started, we just did lunches – and then quickly realized we would prefer to prep both breakfast and lunch and now we get it all done and don’t have to worry about it during the week.

As this blogger points out…

There is no right or wrong way to food prep. The options are endless when in comes to prepping food ahead of time so there really is no right or wrong way to do it. Basically, it comes down to just making time and getting it done. However, just like any weight loss strategy, to be sustainable it needs to fit into your lifestyle. Basically this means do what works for you. If the only thing you want to prep each week are hardboiled eggs then that’s fine. Or maybe you find it helpful to make mason jar salads, buffalo shredded chicken, and a couple slow cooker kits. Whatever will meets YOUR needs. Don’t get bogged down in thinking it has to be done a certain way. Also, it is very important to remember that I have been doing this for 4 years. I have lots of practice and made my fair share of mistakes. What works for me might not work for you. I share the strategies and tips I have learned along the way in hopes that you will take and adapt them to fit into your lifestyle.

It’s always hard, and a little scary to start a new diet or for us, lifestyle change. But every journey started with one-step and changing the way you eat can change your life!

Enjoy, and welcome to meal prep. Follow me on IG if you want to see more recipes @Sara_EatsClean !

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